A day inside the White House - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

A day inside the White House

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Six regional news anchors were recently invited to spend the day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – the nation's capital.

FOX 4's Clarice Tinsley was the only one from Texas chosen.

The Obama administration wanted to talk about raising the minimum wage and the Affordable Care Act without having the national media involved. The day ended with a presidential interview, and Tinsley brought a different topic to the agenda.

"Live at the White House" was an impactful assignment for Tinsley and FOX 4 photographer John Gnann.

The day started at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday with a security sweep, and there were rules – no taking pictures in the hallways, having to have an escort and in some rooms, pictures could be taken with cell phones, but not news cameras.

First, the tour began in the West Wing, where there was a background meeting with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

His digital clock shows military times for Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Doha, Baghdad, Moscow and Beijing, and his phone reaches around the world, including the president on Air Force One.

In the East Wing's Roosevelt Room, there was an interview with Cecelia Munoz, Director of Domestic Policy Council, on Obamacare. Then, there was a surprise -- first dogs Bo and Sunny made an appearance in the Diplomatic Reception Room, where Tinsley interviewed President Obama.

In the kitchen, White House chef Sam Kass said that there are no bad moods there.

"Never, never," said Kass. "This kitchen is the calmest kitchen in the world, and I mean that. Never have heard one raised voice ever, and it's the only kitchen I've ever known like that."

Kass is also executive director of the first lady's Let's Move initiative for kid's healthy eating.  

Ukraine was a big topic in Carney's press briefing. The press briefing room looks huge on TV, but in reality, it's small -- only about 20 by 50 feet, but so much history has happened between its walls.

Back in the Diplomatic Reception Room, and White House curator William Allman gave the history of an oval rug, with the emblem of each state when it was admitted to the union.

"How many artifacts does the White House have?" asked Tinsley.

"Well, we say 50, 000, but that includes services of china, silverware and glassware, so probably in the art collection, more like about 500," said White House curator William Allman.

Construction on the White House began in 1792.

Tinsley also visited the room the Obama family travels in and out of the White House in to get to the presidential limo, Marine One or just to go outside.

Inside, French wallpaper features scenes from early America and 20 clocks in the White House keep perfect time, but President Truman didn't want them to chime, and they still don't.

At 3:20 p.m., it was time for Tinsley's four-minute interview with the president. She stretched it to six minutes and asked four questions.

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